With the photo editing industry ruled primarily by Adobe, new-comers like Skylum (formerly Macphun) has tried to gain a foothold by releasing something unique and creative. With Luminar, Skylum hasn’t created a photo editor for a single photographic discipline, but they formed a jack o all trades. Luminar is plain in such a way that it favors all graphic styles.
Introduction To Skylum Luminar
Now available for both Windows and Mac PC’s, Luminar’s most recent updates come with a guarantee of increased speed on both platforms. Skylum has boasted about a 5x increase in speed in Windows PC while Mac users can experience up to a 12x boost.
The software now comes with inbuilt support for lens distortion corrections and RAW image conversion engine, cleaner gradients and the ability to purge chromatic aberration. The new camera profiles now include Standard, Vivid, Portrait, Landscape and more.
Apart from these new features, Luminar now has plenty of presets for one-click fixes and has made possible layered editing. A user has the option of using Luminar as a standalone editor or as a plugin for Lightroom or Photoshop.
User Interface of Luminar
Luminar, instead of providing a customizable tool for editing and other functions like any other software, has a system of ‘workspaces.’ There is a total of 8 workspaces which are pre-programmed and prepared in Luminar. These workspaces are made-to-order for a given type of photography like aerial, landscape, Black, and White, landscape, etc.
When selected a particular workspace, a wisely picked collection editing tools are visible. To get almost all the tools, a person should work in the professional workspace. Your work can also be customized, and your projects can be saved after working on them after a while.
One of the best features of this photo-editor is the simple and basic layout of their website.
Luminar comes with a history button which allows a user to keep track of the amount of editing done on a single picture. Clicking on this button can help you to restore your edited photograph to the time when you were still in control of your edits, and your artist mind wants to add or delete something more.
Edits and Performance
Luminar uses filters, and they are the primary editing tools. Not to be confused with presets, these tools can help you in fixing quick fixes and effects. Like some presets, filters can be practiced with either a single click or an adjusted apacity slider. The results from these presets are pretty decent and impressive.
Pretty fun to use a filter is Accent AI, which analyses and processes the photo with machine vision and makes targeted corrections. The filter has a Boost slider to increase or decrease. Comparing outputs from Luminar (JPEG) and Photo Lemur, Luminar got the last laugh as their output is somewhat lighter but other than that they were almost identical.
Unlike Alien Skin, Luminar doesn’t have the vast catalog of the film simulations, but still, there are plenty of ways to edit and personalize your photo. You are allowed to layer presets and apply LUTs to them as well as save everything in the form of a customizable preset to speed up your workflow.
One issue encountered with Luminar is that after completing the photo editing, the resultant pic gets smudge to darken overall image. The differences were almost negligible at lower ISO values.
While Luminar had no trouble in working with camera RAW files just about all the major vendors on Mac and Intel, Luminar doesn’t like the RAW files from Hasselblad. One thing that does slow the program down is the lack of an integrated file browser- to solve this you have to find and open images individually to work on them.
Apparently in the league of challenging some of the photo editing software of the industry, Luminar, though it’s complete, feels like there could have been more work done upon it to ensure better performance. Not on the level of Alien Skins and OnOne. But as a solo photo editor, it sure holds some ground and comes out to be rather strong.